UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Addressing the syndemic of HIV, hepatitis C, overdose, and COVID-19 among people who use drugs : the potential roles for decriminalization and safe supply Bonn, Matthew; Palayew, Adam; Bartlett, Sofia; Brothers, Thomas D.; Touesnard, Natasha; Tyndall, Mark


People who use drugs (PWUD) face concurrent public health emergencies from overdoses, HIV, hepatitis C, and COVID-19, leading to an unprecedented syndemic. Responses such as decriminalization and providing a safe supply of pharmaceutical-grade drugs, that goes beyond treatment, to PWUD could reduce impacts of this syndemic. Solutions already implemented for COVID-19, such as emergency safe supply prescribing and providing housing to people experiencing homelessness, must be sustained once COVID-19 is contained. This pandemic is a catastrophe, but is also a chance to develop and maintain equitable and sustainable solutions to the harms associated with the criminalization of drug use.

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